In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog: scratchingforchange.blogspot.com

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

jescordwaineratgmail.com

Sunday, July 26, 2015

As Summer Drags On

After too much rain, the last few weeks have little to none. The lack of moisture is showing in browning yards, drooping bushes and trees showing signs of stress. I've seen it before, and if this continues, August may bring days in the low hundreds and brutal days at work.

I've been watching the birds adjust to the conditions. Where they once had numerous places to find water, they now stay close to drink from the bird bath in the yard. Even the robins that usually stay away are coming for a drink and searching for insects, where spilled water may drive the insects they crave from their deep hiding places in the ground.

Mornings bring unusually dry air, which makes the low eighty temperatures bearable; even comfortable for those like me that work in the heat. The pleasant lack of humidity makes for enjoyable cups of coffee as the sun rises.

A group of showers almost made it this evening. I'm guessing it's a sign the high pressure dome is moving, or weakening. If this continues, the next few weeks may bring the violent summer thunderstorms, with lightning lacing the tops of clouds as the storms weaken in the late evening. If so, there will be some fascinating light shows as the light of evening finally fades.

Time will tell, but the last month of summer is almost here. September will probably bring the first cool front of the season, and a night with temperatures in the sixties. That might seem tame to some, but for this area, it's the start of the time of year when it's most pleasant. I'm eager for those days. I've had enough of summer.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Winners and Losers

The government has picked winners and losers. The winners are those with a seven figure income, government workers with a guaranteed pension, and those either right below, or at the poverty level. Everyone in between is facing higher costs for everything, worrying about the diminishing purchasing power of their money, and is not seeing anything that hints at necessary changes.

Why is this happening? Too many government officials sold their soul, ignored their vow to uphold the Constitution, and placed their grandchildren in debt. Big business, as well as lower income individuals, have successfully nestled against the belly of the country and suckle at the teats of public money.

We have the media to report about such things. The only problem is the media is as woefully clueless about the real world. Those in the media -  at best - had an early life experience of working with their hands, or in a menial job, which is only a sour taste of what is reality for hundreds of millions. They can't understand what it means to spend every summer, maybe for decades, waking two hours before sunrise, preparing for the day, and spending the next ten hours in heat that literally kills.They'll report about the deaths, or the hardships, but they're still clueless; and their concentration is sensational occurrences, or opportunities to expound on their self-proclaimed brilliance with world matters.

This won't last. Never has; never will. Ignoring those that make it all happen never leads to anything but turmoil, at best, and retribution, at worst. You can't exclude the importance of the producer to allow those that spectate a cushy existence, and those that run the government a better life than those that hired them to take care of the business of government.

Time will tell how this all works out, but the dissatisfaction of those that turn the nuts and bolts is becoming more apparent daily; in spite of the narrative of those that produce nothing but expenses, and hollow words. My advice is they pay attention. Civility is an orphan, when survival is a necessity.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Why Sharks Attack

Because they're hungry.

The solution to shark attacks? Don't swim with hungry sharks.

Loan Me A Dime Boz Scaggs

Quiet Moments of Contentment

I've been spending time in the backyard, mostly sitting quietly and watching the birds come to eat what I placed in various places around the yard.

I buy a large bag of wild bird seed from a local feed store,so I have plenty to scatter in the grass or place in a small feeder. The small feeder allows the smaller birds less competition from the doves and grackles, that can't perch on the edge.

During the last few months, I've watched a variety of birds. Most notable were the indigo buntings, a pair of rose breasted grosbeaks, night herons that hunted crayfish after heavy rains, and my favorite: red-belly woodpeckers.

A little over a month ago, I threw some old bread in the yard. As I sat, the usual blue jays, and crackles, came to take a piece of bread. The crackles would soak it in the bird bath before eating, or carry it to their fledglings. The blue-jays would dive, snatch a piece in a split second, and fly away.

A new bird arrived, made a threatening advance toward a crackle moving toward its prize, grabbed the piece of bread, and flew away. It was a woodpecker, but I had no idea what type.

After a little research, I found it was male red-bellied woodpecker. I wanted it to return, so I started placing bread in the evening. I was rewarded with its visit, and it would always grab one piece of bread and fly away.



Over the last two weeks, the woodpecker would return more than once. It never stopped to perch and eat, so I determined it was either shy, or feeding a mate, with fledglings.

Yesterday, I noticed the woodpecker fly to a pecan tree, and stuff the bread in a hollow depression on the top of a limb. I'd read it was common for woodpeckers to store food, so it didn't surprise me, but I was curious about the new behavior, until this morning.

Right before the sun rose, I placed some bread in the yard, and sat to watch the morning. A few blue jays came for some bread and soon the woodpecker landed, grabbed a piece, and flew to the spot on the tree where it was storing bread. It soon flew away, but I heard the call of a woodpecker within a few minutes. Glancing up, I saw a female woodpecker at the spot in the tree. I was thrilled, since I'd only seen the male, but was soon rewarded with another sight.

Two fledglings landed near the mother, that placed pieces of bread in the their mouths. After they ate what was there, she moved along the limbs, with the babies in tow, and pecked for bugs. She was teaching and feeding her young.




So, now I have a family of woodpeckers to watch. They give me peace at a time when there seems to be too much turmoil in the world. I consider it a blessing and treasure the moments.